Forcing a specific fare basis on UA.com?

Old Jul 31, 19, 6:59 am
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Forcing a specific fare basis on UA.com?

I'm in the strange position of wanting to pay more for the same flight . Specifically, I'm trying to book a short segment to make my PQD requirement. The fare showing on united.com is a couple dollars too low, but on Matrix, I can force it to give me a fare that's about $10 more. Both fares book into the same inventory bucket, so I can't force united.com to display it just by restricting the booking code. I can book the fare on Flightnetwork via bookwithmatrix.com (unfortunately, when I try the same with Priceline, it reprices it to the cheapest available fare), but I'd rather use united.com or another site that offers free 24 hour cancellation (Flightnetwork doesn't seem to offer it on this particular fare). Is there any way to do so?
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:17 am
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No way, that I am aware of, to force a specific fare basis (most want the cheaper fare) on UA.com.
You can book the lower fare basis on UA.com and call to upfare (in the first 24 hours) for free. This will provide the full PQD,
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:20 am
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Regarding the other site you listed, as far as I know, it's FAA law that all flights are refundable within 24 hours of purchase (unless the flight itself is departing within 24 hours).

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Edited to add: You do say "Fare Basis" and not fare class, as I see now and removed my instructions for forcing specific fare classes.

Last edited by MBS MillionMiler; Jul 31, 19 at 7:29 am Reason: Clarifying fare basis versus fare class.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
...
Go to 'advanced search'. In the fare preferences heading, just below the boxes for fare class and type of fare, is a box that says "Fare class" and in that box is "examples, Y, B, M"... ....
That only allows selecting a fare class but, for example, there are two T fare basis, it will use the lower T fare. The OP wants to select the higher T fare.
Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
...
Side note, the other site you listed, as far as I know, it's FAA law that all flights are refundable within 24 hours of purchase (unless the flight itself is departing within 24 hours).
Only if purchased from the airlines, not OTAs
And the exempt is 7 days in advance (but UA.com does not make use of the exemption)
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Regarding the other site you listed, as far as I know, it's FAA law that all flights are refundable within 24 hours of purchase (unless the flight itself is departing within 24 hours).
Its not ĎFAA lawí, itís DOT regulations. And those DOT regulations donít apply to travel agencies. And it doesnít have to be Ďrefundableí per say. AA, for example, used to not allow a refund, but instead allow a free 24 hour hold before purchase - which is allowed under the regs.

As mentioned by WineCountry, OTAs are not required to refund within 24 hours. Many do (Orbitz, Expedia, etc.) but that is used as an incentive for people to book with them, but isnít required.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


Its not ĎFAA lawí, itís DOT regulations. And those DOT regulations donít apply to travel agencies. And it doesnít have to be Ďrefundableí per say. AA, for example, used to not allow a refund, but instead allow a free 24 hour hold before purchase - which is allowed under the regs.

As mentioned by WineCountry, OTAs are not required to refund within 24 hours. Many do (Orbitz, Expedia, etc.) but that is used as an incentive for people to book with them, but isnít required.

Thanks for the clarification.

Yet another reason to book direct with airlines.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 10:54 am
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Forced Fare

Originally Posted by yonatan View Post
I'm in the strange position of wanting to pay more for the same flight . Specifically, I'm trying to book a short segment to make my PQD requirement. The fare showing on united.com is a couple dollars too low, but on Matrix, I can force it to give me a fare that's about $10 more. Both fares book into the same inventory bucket, so I can't force united.com to display it just by restricting the booking code. I can book the fare on Flightnetwork via bookwithmatrix.com (unfortunately, when I try the same with Priceline, it reprices it to the cheapest available fare), but I'd rather use united.com or another site that offers free 24 hour cancellation (Flightnetwork doesn't seem to offer it on this particular fare). Is there any way to do so?
I was in the same situation recently - because of Mile Play. I played around with the "fare class" section on the advanced search page and found what I was looking for by entering a succession of increasingly higher fare classes. In my case, it was P first, then a separate search for Z, then D, etc. I then checked my emailed receipt (bc of fee/fare funny business) and called too, just to be sure I got it right.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:23 pm
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What drives the fare basis? The only time I've seen variances in pricing for the same fare class is when monitoring a segment closely on United.com closely over several weeks waiting for PN to open. On various days the price for the lowest fare class (which was always the same T or S class) would vary by ~$10-50 depending on day of the week and number of remaining fares in that class.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
would vary by ~$10-50 depending on day of the week and number of remaining fares in that class.
Day of the week, yes, but not the number of seats available in that inventory bucket. That's not an input to the price.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
What drives the fare basis?....
The fare rules for that fare basis and UA will, by default, use the cheapest fare / fare basis that you meet the fare rules

Things that may eliminate cheaper fare / fare basis are
- Fare class inventory
- Day of the week
- Advance purchase requirements
- min / max stay
- routing
- ...

Same sort of things covered in Fare Class has Inventory - Not Able to Book into?

There may be multiple fare/ basis for a given fare class but with different fare rules -- particularly advance purchase timeframes
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
What drives the fare basis? The only time I've seen variances in pricing for the same fare class is when monitoring a segment closely on United.com closely over several weeks waiting for PN to open. On various days the price for the lowest fare class (which was always the same T or S class) would vary by ~$10-50 depending on day of the week and number of remaining fares in that class.
The fare class availability doesnít change the fare you get returned unless you are booking for a number that exceeds the availability. For example, if it shows Y9...W2 S1 T0, and there is both a valid W and S fare filed, if youíre booking for only yourself, youíll get the S fare (unless the W fare is cheaper - then it will show that - itís not that common, IME, to have a fare basis in a higher fare class with a lower fare, but it does happen sometimes). If youíre booking a party of 2, then it will only bring up the W (unless you book on separate PNRs - thatís the only way to get the last S fare and then the W for a lower price).

Interestingly enough, I had a first that I can remember when searching for fares to LAX yesterday.

I initially looked on the app in the morning, and saw a G outbound/L return for flights that were good for me. Both the outbound and the return were showing 9s for the relevant fare classes. But wanted to book on the full website since I was going to use some TravelBank funds. Returned in the early afternoon time frame, to see the fare increased from $297 to $360 in the few hours. But the most surprising thing is it was still a G/L combo. Every time Iíve seen the fare increase, itís always been a fare class thing (ie, they sold out/zerod our inventory and so the L become an S, or whatever, or I went over the advance purchase deadline and so was booked in a different fare basis). Since I wasnít paying attention to the specific fare basis, just class, I canít be sure, but Iím pretty sure it must have changed - either they eliminated the fare basis that I was looking at in the morning, or they raised the fare on it (by quite a bit) - I suppose itís also possible they eliminated allowing a combination of that L fare I saw earlier with a G between my searches, but that also seems unlikely. I know it was the return part of the fare that was the issue, since a lower fare still existed on a G/G return trip with a different return flight. I know min/max stay or advance purchase wasnít the issue, as the searches were done the same calendar day. Iím not sure what caused the L fare basis to change, but it must have. I booked this morning on what became a G/K combo, at $20 less than the higher amount above, but I know we took up all the return k inventory now, and itís back to the G/L on our flights at $360 now.
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